Rebuilding Lives and Communities in Eastern Europe

Latest News

We are very blessed to have some very talented volunteers who are extremely gifted.  A number of the volunteers led by Sally Fairman have been making the most gorgeous gifts ready to sell and raise funds for the Shoebox Hospital.  What is that you may ask?  The Shoebox Hospital is were shoeboxes come to that need repairing and a little bit of TLC or when they are too light or empty to send.

Every year the lovely shoebox hospital volunteers go and buy extra items such as plasters, toothbrushes, razors, sweets, toiletries etc out of there own money to make sure good boxes get sent out.  This year Sally & her team want the money raised through their 'Sale of Goods' to be used to buy these items.  People will have an opportunity to buy her many beautiful hand made gifts at an event to be held at Link to Hope shop, 43 Chapel Road, Worthing on Sat 22nd October.  Please come along to support it.  You will also be able to buy tea, coffee and cakes.



To make sure the Shoebox Appeal runs smoothly we need people to start signing up as volunteers.  There are many roles for all ages, genders and abilities.  Here are some:-

Shoebox Hospital - Repairing boxes in order to send them out

Unpacking and loading lorries

Packing and checking boxes

Dealing with paperwork

Manual work in the warehouse and lots more

  Please spread the word and contact us on or ring us on 01903 529333



We need a Shoebox Warehouse Manager to work for us over the Shoebox Appeal. Do you want to join our team for 6 weeks during Shoeboxes here in Worthing from November to mid-December?

We need a paid manager to run the warehouse, co-ordinate volunteers, load trucks and drive a forklift. Must be happy, flexible, love working with people and trustworthy. There will be a DBS check as you will be working alongside vulnerable adults and groups of school children as well as other volunteers. Please contact or ring us on 01903 529333 

Temporary Warehouse Managers Role- Shoeboxes 2016

                                             Job Description

Responsible for:

  • The overall control of warehouse operations for the defined period
  • The security of the warehouse.
  • The Health and Safety of staff, volunteers and supporters including briefing volunteers/staff  on H&S rules.
  • The meeting and greeting of supporters who arrive at warehouse with boxes.
  • Supervising the “quarantining” of boxes with coins on.
  • Supervising the removal of any coins/gift aid forms.
  • Supervising the unloading of boxes.
  • Supervising the packing and stacking of boxes.
  • Supervising the loading of packed boxes onto trucks to Eastern Europe.
  • Reporting to the office daily on progress on the warehouse operations.
  • Working with the truck company to make sure designated shoeboxes are despatched in time ie Albania, Moldova with additional non shoebox goods.
  • Input into the paperwork necessary to despatch shoeboxes.

Manual Role:


  • The offloading of boxes.
  • The sorting, packing and stacking (onto pallets) of shoe-boxes
  • The loading of packed boxes onto trucks
  • Exceptionally when there is a lull in warehouse operations, help out with driving duties- either as a driver or as a passenger.


  • The job may involve unsocial hours. Most vehicles leave Worthing fairly early but arrive back late. 

Personal Quantities

  • Good Organisational Skills,
  • Resourceful,
  • A strong commitment to the aims of the charity,
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills,
  • Fit and strong


  • 35 hours a week . Core hours are 10am – 4pm or 9.30am – 3.30pm with the additional hours being spread over early starts, evening work or occasional weekend work
  • If overtime is necessary this will be paid but must be agreed by the General Manager beforehand.


  • £8.00 an hour


The Sunflower Appeal - You smashed it

As many of you know we appealed to raise £3,000 to help families in Dancu, Moldova whose sunflower crops had died due to the terrible drought.  In less than one week we have received over £7,000.  Not only will we now be able to buy food this winter to help them through, but with the additional money we can now buy firewood for them which was also a major concern.

Thank you so much and for those that didn't know about the appeal please read more about it here 


Worthing Sunshine Radio

Well I was interviewed for Worthing Sunshine Radio by Patrick Woodward. We were talking about the work of Link to Hope and the projects and it was good to share with him some of the positive stories about Eastern Europe and the lovely people we work with.

The photo rather looks like we have a mini lady between us about to leap out, but that is one of Maria Scards lovely photos that she took when we went out and delivered shoeboxes.

If you have 14 minutes and you want to sit down, grab a coffee and hear about the work of Link to Hope then do listen to the link here. Note - the music breaks are just for a couple of seconds each otherwise it really would be a long interview.


No Rain for Moldova

As the sun shines here in the UK on the hottest day of the year please spare a thought for our projects in Moldova. For them at this current time, lack of rain is destroying their food and livelihood. Latest news from Dancu


"We still didn't have any rain for two months now and it looks like this year will be very critical. There will be a big shortage of food. People are very worried here but we have to trust in the Lord. Last night we had just a little rain but this is not enough for the crops. Many people are so desperate here because it looks like the crops are dying. Many people have started to sell their cows etc." Pastor Slavic, Dancu. Please do pray it will rain very soon.



The 9th Lotus Festival

Amazing opportunity for a day out at Brands Hatch on 16th August 2015.  

A celebration of Britain's most charismatic sports car marque and its illustrious heritage spanning over 60 years. From coveted cars to Formula 1 glories, Norfolk's famous brand will be on display.

On track, demonstrations of famous racers, rally and road cars will be complemented by superb action from Lotus races series with a packed support bill.

Meanwhile trade stands and club displays presenting the very best from the iconic brand makes this a weekend to remember on a track that has provided many of the marque's most glittering moments.

What will your day involve:-
Your ticket will be for the Brabham Stewart Hospitality Suite  which is equipped with multiple screens showing live coverage plus timing screens. The suite offers an unequalled elevated view of the track, the start/finish line, pits, winners podium and pit lane. It also has live commentary playing in the suite.

Tea, coffee, soft drinks & light refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

A superb programme will be headlined by the Lotus Elise Trophy, Lotus Cup UK and Lotus Cup Europe plus the F3 Cup, Monoposto Championship, Toyo Tires Racing Saloons and the Toyo Tires Production BMW Championship.

Tickets to the Brabham Stewart Hospitality Suite £40 each and light refreshments will be provided throughout the day

It is going to be a fantastic day and best of all the profits will be going to support our Working Party that go out to Dancu, Moldova in July to buy materials and equipment for the Vulcanizare Project.

What are you waiting for?  Please contact us on or call us on 01903 529333


2015 Family & Elderly Shoebox Leaflets being printed 

Wendy & I were allowed out of the office to see the 2015 Family & Elderly Shoebox Leaflets being printed at Kenads Printers, Worthing. Not the time to spot a mistake and fortunately we didn't. Will be ready next week and then the hard work begins. Thank you Martin and Julian.

Volunteer Appreciation Evening

Great turnout at the local link to hope volunteer appreciation evening with special guest speaker @chrisducker

Inspiring talk by @ Chrisducker who lived with his wife @helenducker and 3 young children in Moldova in 2 remote villages for 7 years. With the help of Link to hope many ongoing projects were started that are still making a real difference to people's lives.

Easter Working Party

Two of our Link to Hope staff are going out to take part in the Easter Working Party 6th - 14th April running in Razesi, Moldova. To raise funds for building materials one of our managers Jan is holding a:- Silent Auction, Sunday 22nd March, 4pm - 6pm
St Georges Church Hall, St George's Road
Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 2DS

£2.50 include light refreshments (children under 12 free)

Everyone welcome to come along and bid and/or to bring something to auction. These can be any saleable items e.g. China, home ware, jewellery, clothing (single items not bags of) small pieces of furniture, toys, jigsaw puzzles, Flower arrangement! cake, Holiday! etc.

Here is the brand new Link to Hope Family & Elderly Shoebox Appeal Leaflet 

Designed by the highly talented Steve Carroll. It is being printed as we speak and will be available very soon - how exciting. 



Two of our staff are going out to take part in the Easter Working Party 6th - 14th April in Razesi, Moldova. To raise funds Jan is holding a:-

Silent Auction

Sunday 22nd March

4pm - 6pm

St Georges Church Hall, St George's Road
West Sussex
BN11 2DS 

£2.50 include light refreshments (children under 12 free)


Silent Auction - How it works?

1) People donate items to be Auctioned :-

These can be any saleable items e.g. China, home ware, jewellery, clothing (single items not bags of) small pieces of furniture, toys, jigsaw puzzles, Flower arrangement! cake, Holiday! etc.

If you wish your item to have a starting bid price or a reserve price, or your item returned to you if unsold, please mark this clearly with your name and contact details on each item. All other unsold items at the end of the evening will be donated to a Link to Hope shop for sale.

Each item will be numbered together with a bidding sheet.

2) Buyers are given a personal bidding number on arrival, buyers then place their bid & number on the bidding sheet of the items they wish to bid for, at the end of the evening the highest bidder pays for and takes home the item. Simple!

Your £2.50 entrance ticket entitles you to cake and unlimited tea or coffee, served in the side hall thought out the event.

Items for auction can be brought to St. George’s Church office at opening times (Mon, Thurs, Fri, 9.30 –12.30) or Sunday 22nd   up until 3.30pm, or you may contact Jan Holden on 502143 for items to be collected.

We reserve the right not to auction any item we deem to be unfit for sale or dangerous.

 All monies raised will help fund this much-needed renovation on a building in Tochile, Moldova, which will give the children a warm, light place for educational studies and holiday clubs. 

Thank you for your support.  Jan


Sneak preview of the making of the new Link to Hope Shoebox Video

@CamillaJohnson is kindly fronting it this year and here she is doing the introduction to camera. @PaulCadogan and @MariaScard are filming and directing and trying to ignore the noisy seagulls! Hopefully will be ready to see at the end of March.

Congratulations - this is the new Inn of Love car that you helped buy yesterday

The car boot already has the food to go out to the old people in it and Vadim and Pastor Slavic (r) are in the photos. We thought you might like to hear from Pastor Slavic himself.

Slavic says 'Finally we have found and bought another car for the Inn of Love project. It is a very good car, reliable for this project because it has a big boot and 7 seats if we need to use it for the Youth in Action to help the elderly people (the youth group go and paint, decorate and repair elderly peoples houses) . Wonderful and such a big encouragement. Thank you so much for your help to buy this car. This will make such a big difference for this important ministry. Vadim and the team is very happy because they don't need to push anymore.

Many thanks to all who contributed very kindly to help us to buy this car and many thanks for your great support to help all these elderly people bringing a hope and make their lives a lot easier.



Runner Needed

HELP! We need a runner for the Brighton Marathon on 12th April. Our lovely supporter Kenny has a calf tear that just isn't go to heal in time. We have to submit another runner by 6th March or we lose the place. Any ideas or names? It will be fun - honest.


Look what arrived in our office   

A bit early but greatly appreciated. Thank you to the Emsworth Knitters. Fancy knitting a teddy? Then go to where there are patterns for all sorts of lovely items.


Fantastic news - you have raised £4,500 (6,000E)

The money will be used to buy a new van for the Inn of Love. The current van kept breaking down and photos of the team pushing it to start it in driving snow meant that many of you generously donated funds towards a new van.

Pastor Slavic is thrilled, as are the Inn of Love team and send their very warmest thanks. We look forward to seeing photos of the new van soon. Thank you so much for giving a life line to 60 elderly people who really do rely on the Inn of Love for the food to keep them alive.


Shoebox Delivery 2014

The best photos from the Link to Hope Shoebox Delivery Teams who visited Cluj, Romania and Chirpan, Bulgaria in December 2014. They were there to give out Fa...

If you have missed this please take 4mins to watch our best photos from the Shoebox Delivery 2014. Enjoy.

Family and Elderly Shoebox Best Buys

Just logged onto the Best Buys Page on our website and found some great ideas already for what to put in a shoebox. Here are a few:-
Katie Hounds says 
"Wooden boxes of dominoes, pick up sticks and playing cards @ 59pence each from The Works. 
Think dominoes are also available in the shops @ 2 for £1. 
20 coloured pencils @ £1
Ordered on line + discount that day+ free postage over £10 (still showing as SAVE20- today)
Poundstretcher:all hats, gloves, scarves half price:
boy's beanie hats 49pence
"magic" stretchy cuddly gloves 89 pence
not reduced: 3 pairs snuggly socks £2
mens work socks- plain black - 6 pairs for £2.99 or 2 packs for £5
100 tea lights £2"

Keep them coming and if you want to read more go to the Best Buys page for some ideas


Easter Working Party 

If anyone would like work on a DIY project in the village of Razesi, Moldova to convert some rooms into a place for an after schools club, then please get in touch. The dates are provisionally 6-13th/14th April but we are still flexible on that. We do need to know quite soon so please contact us asap. For more information read more here…/easter-working-party-2015-razesi-….


We thought we would start with giving you an insight into some of the daily issues that arise for us here in the office.  Take the Inn of Love project - set up a few years ago after the local headmistress contacted Chris Ducker in Dancu, Moldova.  "The old people are going through the school bins to find scraps of food - what can be done about it".  Chris approached the local mayor who duly gave him a list of 20 of the most vunerable elderly in Dancu.  Chris contacted Link to Hope and as they say the rest is history......

The project has continued under the leadership of Pastor Slavic Duman and food is now delivered three times a week to the elderly who cannot leave their houses.  Others come to the kitchens where food is served to them.  The project now feeds 60 people a week and literally saves the lives of many elderly people who go days without food or seeing anyone.


The project is of course reliant on the people that run it and the tools they have to do it with.  The weather in Moldova is bitterly cold in the winter and as the latest photos from the Inn of Love show the whole village in knee deep in snow.  Some of the photos show our Inn of Love meal delivery team wading through snow to get to the houses of the elderly people. This food isn't a 'nice to have' - these meals of pasta and soup are the only food the elderly will have for two days and it has to last.

More worrying are the photos of  Jon and Vitali pushing the Kanga van in order to get out and about with the food. They have to do this every time now as the starter motor is broken. Can you image knowing that people are reliant on you getting food to them but yourself being reliant on an old van that only works when it wants to.We are currently trying to raise money to buy them another second hand van and for this I would urge you to consider donating at Please put KANGA VAN in the message so we know what it is for.


Grief and hope amidst Russian threats

We have received the following letter through our contacts at Door of Hope from the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk. After the Russian takeover of the Crimea, Donetsk has become a region under threat due to its large pro Russian population.  Here is a letter from Zynaida and Alex who run Haven of Hope

" We live but we do not know what awaits us tomorrow.  Yesterday I went into Donetsk.  There were Russian flags everywhere. The situation is dangerous for us all.  While everything seems calm, we live in a condition of alarm and expectation that there could be a war.  We don't want the blood of our families shed. In and around the town, there is a lot of miltary equipment, some demonstrations and also deaths. We ask for your prayers.  Military mobilzation has begun.  Our only son has received call up for miltary duty.  It is terrible.  My heart cannot find rest by day or by night. Sometimes it feels broken. I am a mother and a mothers heart gets sick when her son is taken away.  We (the Christians) go to churches every day and we stand up to pray.  You pray for us.  With love Zyniada and Alex"

Please pray for us for Zyniada and Alex for their own safety, those of the people in the Haven of Hope and particualarly for their son.




               Wendy & Dave's Wedding Day 

We are delighted that Wendy and Dave have got married.  Wendy has worked with us for five years and Dave for four years and they are such a great couple.  We may be a small team but love has blossomed and it was a really wonderful day as they walked down the aisle together.

 They attend New Life Church together in Worthing and that is where the wedding took place.  On behalf of all the trustees, volunteers, staff and supporters of Link to Hope we wish them all the happiness in the world - they thoroughly deserve it.





We are so proud of our Maria

For those that have seen any of the images on our website or any of the publications that we produce then you will no doubt have admired the photography that often accompanies our stories and information.  Most have been taken by our very good friend Maria Scard and she has been featured in the Worthing Herald this week.  Here is a part of the article where Link to Hope gets mentioned in the same breathe as a host of celebrities at Mens London Fashion Week - what an honour


Worthing Herald Article (in part) 

Photography was an outlet for Maria Scard when her children were at school and she had some sparet eime on her hands.  A decade later, her passion has seen her working with celebrities at a London fashion event, capturing images at orphanages, in Eastern Europe and visiting prisons in the third world.

Earlier this year she added another highlight to her list when top UK super model, David Gandy, shoce her pictures to accompany his online blog on Vogues website. Maria recieved a personal email from the model after phtographing him at the second London Collection: Men,  which took place in June. Maria said " Photography is used to tell stories, sell products or help us remember times in our lives.  If David Gandy thinks my images are good enough to represent him personally in Vogue, it is with even greater confidence that I continue to work with lcoal families on location, businesses and the Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce. Maria also managed to snap a host of other celebrities at the event including Tinie Tempah, Dermot O'Leary, Aston Merrigold form JLS, and Great Britain gymnast Louis Smith.

Throughout her photography career, Maria has been heavily involved in charity projects, including Link to Hope, a Worthing based charity, which supports poor communites in Eastern Europe.  She said " I go our to Eastern Europe and photograph the shoebox appeal.  I have been out there nine times. We go for a week at a time and we are out all day.  We have to be able to work really quickly in difficult circumstances to get the right shots.  We have to see it ahead of time.  We have had experiences such as when we went into a dark hovel in Moldova and heard a man shouting and crying out.  We asked the translator what he was saying and they told us ' he is on his knees praying because he is so lonely' and there we were at the door with shoebox for him"

See more of Maria's work at or like her FB page at Maria Scard Photographer.



The Link to Hope Office team and volunteers were allowed out for the day to fulfil a promise to be a Gardening SOS Auction Prize. We were sold to the highest bidder and Pauline Richards was the 'winner'.  So Jan, Trish, Dave, Andrew, Lisa & Wendy arrived on one of the hottest days of the year to see what they had let themselves in for. We did try to drive away but unfortunately Pauline spotted us and so we had no choice but to stay.  After 6 hours the wilderness was finally brought under control as you can see from our before and after photos and Pauline supplied a lovely lunch.  All in all a worthwhile day although not many people are queueing up to do it again next year suprisingly! 





Vintage, Vintage, Vintage - people came and visited our stall at the Worthing Charity Seafront Fayre on Sunday 28th July from 12pm - 4pm and we raised £1,000 towards our projects.  We would like to thank everyone that came and visited the stall and especially to our wonderful volunteers who helped us - Sally, Penny, Barbara, Wendy, Trish, Keith, Lisa, Andrew, Pete, Brenda, Katy and Dave.



Last week we went to Romania ( July 19th) and signed the documents necessary to be able to set up a new charity in that country.  Its a long and complicated story that we won't bore you with, but you are now looking at the 4 new trustees of the Future Changed kindergarten in Iasi, Romania. They are left to right - me (Lisa) Pavel Smantana, Chris Ducker and Tim Weller. The project is doing very well but with the new structure we can do even better. Thank you to everyone that supports us and here's to even more happy children in the future.